IIM Africa holds 2022 Abuja annual summit, induction ceremony

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The Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa has inducted new members into its fold in a bid to boost its membership. The induction held during the annual national summit, induction and investiture ceremony of the Institute in Abuja at the weekend.

Speaking on the ceremony’s theme of “Electronic Transmission of Election Results: Digitalisation of Politics and Elections”, Ambassador (Dr) Oyedokun Oyewole, the President and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Institute said democracy is defined as a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically-held free elections.

Oyewole added that it is equally defined as a government of the people, by the people and for the people by Abraham Lincoln. According to him, “This shows that democracy involves mass participation and voluntary transmission of people’s power to trusted individuals chosen as representatives through an electoral system. It implies that sovereignty rests with the people.”

Oyewole said until recently, democracy in Nigeria could not be appropriately defined from the perspective of Lincoln because people’s votes did not count, thus making the credibility of our electoral process to be queried.

In his words, “Electoral fraud has been described as a major challenge to political development in Nigeria as it interferes with the mandate of the people. This development has resulted in the masses losing confidence in the democratic exercise.”

He said one of the major ways to stem the tide of electoral fraud in Nigeria is through electronic transmission of election results.

Oyewole who also doubles as the Country Chief Data Officer Ambassador for Nigeria explained that the Institute has been in the forefront of the campaign to encourage embrace of digital transformation in all areas of personal, corporate and national lives.

In his words, “We have consistently emphasised that in this digital age, it is imperative for individuals, corporate organisations as well as government establishments to be highly informed as far as challenges, risks and solutions associated with digital transformation are concerned.”

Oyewole said the Institute began free National Awareness Campaign tagged “National Digital Transformation and Data Protection Awareness Campaign” in 2020 in a bid to sensitise organisations on the importance of digital revolution and data preservation.

“The free awareness campaign held in partnership with Records and Information Management Awareness (RIMA) Foundation took place between Tuesday, July 26 and Friday, August 12, 2022,” he added.

Oyewole said it is commendable that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is one of the organisations that have embraced effective deployment of digital technology in their operations.

He explained that INEC has adopted the electronic transmission of results in some recent elections. According to him, “It did so in the September 2020 Edo State governorship polls, a development that was commended by stakeholders. INEC injected digital innovation to its operations with the adoption of electronic transmission of election results in the Ondo State governorship election.”

Oyewole said the Commission also did the same in the Ekiti State Governorship election and lately Osun State Governorship election. He added that recent introduction of electronic transmission of results seems to have injected some credibility to our electoral process and encouraged the electorate to come out and vote as they believe that their votes will count.

In his words, “It is commendable that INEC continues to reiterate its commitment to the transmission of results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) in real-time for the 2023 elections. INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance again during the Commission’s quarterly meeting with political parties for the year 2022 in Abuja in October.”

Oyewole said sustenance of the electronic transmission of election results will definitely go a long way in instilling confidence in our electoral process and encouraging many people to vote, thereby underscoring credibility of our elections.

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